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Usable Pasts addresses projects dating to two periods in the United States that saw increased financial support from the state for socially engaged culture. By analysing artworks dating to the 1990s by Suzanne Lacy, Rick Lowe and Martha Rosler in relation to experimental theatre, modern dance, and photography produced within the leftist Cultural Front of the 1930s, this book unpicks the mythic and material afterlives of the New Deal in American cultural politics in order to write a new history of social practice art in the United States. From teenage mothers organising exhibitions that challenged welfare reform, to communist dance troupes choreographing their struggles as domestic workers, Usable Pasts addresses the aesthetics and politics of these attempts to transform society through art in relation to questions of state formation.
The Bourbon monarchs who ascended the Spanish throne in 1700 attempted to reform the colonial system they had inherited, and, in particular, to make administration more efficient and cost-effective. This book analyses one aspect of the Bourbon reforms, which was the efforts to transform frontier missions, to make the missions more cost-effective, and to accelerate the integration of indigenous peoples in northern Mexico to European cultural norms. In some instances, the Crown had funded missions for more than a century, but with minimal results. The book attempts to show how the mission programs changed, and what the consequences – especially demographic – were for the indigenous peoples brought to live on the missions.
Joining the Global Public in the Early and Mid-Qing Dynasty
The Chinese gazette as a publicly available government publication was distributed in a variety of formats since the twelfth century. Little is known, however, about its form and content before 1800. By looking at China from the periphery, this study shows how European sources offer a unique way of expanding the knowledge about the gazette of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Its interconnected history illustrates how the Chinese gazette, as translated by European missionaries, became a major source for reflections on state and society by Enlightenment thinkers. It thus joined a global public much earlier than so far assumed.
Jacob Taubes is one of the most significant intellectual figures in the more recent German intellectual scene—and beyond. However, Taubes was either dismissed as a highly controversial character, or as a mere commentator of ongoing debates, or the reception was restricted to his considerations on religion and the ambivalences of secularity. This volume challenges these reductions by putting Taubes' original, albeit marginalised, texts into new, sometimes surprising contexts. Furthermore, it relates familiar topics in his oeuvre to lesser-known themes that are still highly pertinent for contemporary discussions on faith, modernity, and the limits of politics.